Colombo : A major political crisis is underway in Sri Lanka following President Maithripala Sirisena sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, replacing him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and finally the dissolution of parliament. Multiple petitions were filed before the country’s Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Sirisena’s actions. On Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s apex court overturned Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament.
Meanwhile, if general elections were allowed, Rajapaksa’s chances of returning to power look good given that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party, which he formally joined just a few days ago, came out on top in local elections in February.
During Rajapaksa’s tenure as President from 2005 to 2015, the Chinese had begun to gradually involve themselves in Sri Lankan politics. Besides supplying arms to the Sri Lankan armed forces in the civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Chinese were involved in financial transactions directly to Rajapaksa’s family and cronies in exchange for swinging major infrastructure deals China’s way. Therefore, when Rajapaksa lost power, it was widely perceived as China also having lost their man in power.